Preview: Robles to dominate Olympic 110m hurdles
Source: Xinhua | 08-21-2008 07:13Special Report: 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
BEIJING, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Dayron Robles of Cuba on Wednesday breezed to the men's 110m hurdles final at the Beijing Olympic Games, making himself seemingly the unrivalled for the Olympic title.
Robles continued his good form into his first Olympics. He gradually improved his times since the qualifications. In the second round, he clocked 13.19 seconds; and in the semifinals he finished in 13.12 seconds.
After China's favorite Liu Xiang, world champion and gold medalist at the Athens Olympics, pulled out of the track due to an alleged tendon injury, only David Oliver of the United States would pose some threat to the 21-year-old Cuban.
Even with Liu in sight, Robles, always wearing a pair of prescription glasses and a gold necklace with an oversize cross pendant, is formidable to all contenders.
Slicing Liu's world record by one hundredth of a second to 12.87 seconds in mid June, the 1.92m-high Cuban ran in 12.88 and 12.91 seconds consecutively in the past one and half months.
Oliver, who will also line up for the finals which is scheduled on Thursday evening, was the closest follower who finished in 13.31 seconds in the semifinals.
Oliver's teammate David Payne and French Ladji Doucoure would also be hot medal candidates, but not for gold.
Only one question remains on whether Robles is able to beat his own world record. He said after the first round of qualifications that the track in the Bird's Nest, or the Olympic track and field venue, was very good for breaking records.